Alternative Newsweekly Design

Alternative Newsweekly Design

I recently gave a presentation to the annual convention of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. There's some great design being done at those papers, ranging from super slick to down and dirty, almost all of it being done fast and cheap.

One of the best alt weekly designs is the Las Vegas Weekly. Their art director, Benjamen Purvis, uses a lot of design and typographic tricks to create a visual version of the noise, color and neon of Las Vegas, with plenty of 3D type and bold photos and graphics. It's wonderful stuff, super-sophisticated, in the design world of Esquire or Los Angeles, as good or better than what many national magazines with much bigger budgets are doing.

Flagpole cover by David Sandlin.jpg

For a different approach, check out Flagpole, a scrappy weekly in Athens, Georgia. They take their cover inspiration from The Stranger in Seattle, with bold, free-standing illustrations and artwork by local and national artists (the pictured cover illo is by David Sandlin).

These papers don't have the extensive archive that The Stranger has, but it's worth checking out their sites to see the current cover, and if you dig around you can find some back issues pictured.

If you want a nice overview of the state of alternative newsweekly design, with examples from a couple dozen papers, you can download a copy of the Powerpoint presentation I gave at the convention (scroll about halfway down the linked page to Newman-AltWeeklyDesign.ppt and download from there).
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